Risultati 2092

Record d'autorità
Vogue Germany
US.20220318.016 · [non-DACS actor] · 1928-
Stravitz, Russell
US.20181109-009 · Persona

Russell Stravitz joined Bloomingdale's in 1969 and had been working on and off at the company for 18 years as of 1986. For the previous 5 years, Stravitz had been reporting directly to Bloomingdale's CEO, Marvin S. Traub as the Executive VP of Bloomingdale's stores and the General Merchandising Manager of Ready-to-Wear and Fashion Accessories. Stravitz continued working at Bloomingdale's until 1980, before leaving to become the President of Rich's/ Goldsmith's Department Store.

Graham, Martha
US.20181207-012 · Persona · 1894 May 11 – 1991 April 1

"Martha Graham’s creativity crossed artistic boundaries and embraced every artistic genre. She collaborated with and commissioned work from the leading visual artists, musicians, and designers of her day, including sculptor Isamu Noguchi and fashion designers Halston, Donna Karan, and Calvin Klein, as well as composers Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber, William Schuman, Norman Dello Joio, and Gian Carlo Menotti.

Influencing generations of choreographers and dancers including Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, and Twyla Tharp, Graham forever altered the scope of dance. Classical ballet dancers Margot Fonteyn, Rudolf Nureyev, and Mikhail Baryshnikov sought her out to broaden their artistry, and artists of all genres were eager to study and work with Graham—she taught actors including Bette Davis, Kirk Douglas, Madonna, Liza Minelli, Gregory Peck, Tony Randall, Eli Wallach, Anne Jackson, and Joanne Woodward to utilize their bodies as expressive instruments.

Graham’s groundbreaking style grew from her experimentation with the elemental movements of contraction and release. By focusing on the basic activities of the human form, she enlivened the body with raw, electric emotion. The sharp, angular, and direct movements of her technique were a dramatic departure from the predominant style of the time.

With an artistic practice deeply ingrained in the rhythm of American life and the struggles of the individual, Graham brought a distinctly American sensibility to every theme she explored. “A dance reveals the spirit of the country in which it takes root. No sooner does it fail to do this than it loses its integrity and significance,” she wrote in the 1937 essay A Platform for the American Dance.

Consistently infused with social, political, psychological, and sexual themes, Graham’s choreography is timeless, connecting with audiences past and present. Works such as Revolt (1927), Immigrant: Steerage, Strike (1928), and Chronicle (1936)—created the same year she turned down Hitler’s invitation to perform at the International Arts Festival organized in conjunction with the Olympic Games in Berlin—personify Graham’s commitment to addressing challenging contemporary issues and distinguish her as a conscientious and politically powerful artist.

Martha Graham remained a strong advocate of the individual throughout her career, creating works such as Deaths and Entrances (1943), Appalachian Spring (1944), Dark Meadow (1946), and Errand into the Maze (1947) to explore human and societal complexities. The innovative choreography and visual imagery of American Document (1938) exemplified Graham’s genius. The dramatic narrative, which included the Company’s first male dancer, explored the concept of what it means to be American. Through the representation of important American cultural groups such as Native Americans, African-Americans, and Puritans and the integration of text from historical American documents, Graham was able to capture the soul of the American people.

During her long and illustrious career, Graham created 181 masterpiece dance compositions, which continue to challenge and inspire generations of performers and audiences. In 1986, she was given the Local One Centennial Award for dance by her theater colleagues, awarded only once every 100 years, and during the Bicentennial she was granted the United States’ highest civilian honor, The Medal of Freedom. In 1998, TIME Magazine named her the “Dancer of the Century.” The first dancer to perform at the White House and to act as a cultural ambassador abroad, she captured the spirit of a nation and expanded the boundaries of contemporary dance. “I have spent all my life with dance and being a dancer,” she said. “It’s permitting life to use you in a very intense way. Sometimes it is not pleasant. Sometimes it is fearful. But nevertheless it is inevitable.”"

http://www.marthagraham.org/history/

Aleu, Fernando
US.20181207-011 · Persona

Dr. Fernando Aleu was born in Spain in 1929. He moved from Spain to the University of Iowa for a residency as a neurologist. While working at NYU in the neurology department, he and his business partner started a fragrance company called Compar. His business was created in November, 1969 as a way to distribute the scents of his friend, the designer Paco Rabanne. Since then, the company has worked with many other brands including Carolina Herrera, Prada and Nina Ricci. In 1970, a fragrance his company produced, Calantra, was a nominated for an award by the Fragrance Foundation, and in 1976 Aleu was offered as position as president of the Fragrance Foundation. He served as president for a total of fourteen years, and also held the position of President of the Fragrance Foundation Research Fund.

Tansky, Burton, 1937-
US.20181207-002 · Persona · 1937-

Burton Tansky was born on November 30th, 1937 in Pittsburg, PA. After graduating from University of Pittsburg in 1961, Tansky worked as a buyer at department stores Filene's and Kauffman's before moving into an executive role at I. Magnin's and then working as president and CEO of Saks Fifth Avenue from 1980 to 1989. Tansky became the CEO and Chairman of Bergdorf Goodman in 1990, a position he still held at the time of this interview. Tansky has received a number of industry awards, including the Superstar Award from Fashion Group International in 2006, a Visionaries! Award in 2005 from the Museum of Arts and Design, the 2004 Gold Medal Award from the National Retail Federation, and, in 2002, appointment as a “Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur” by the French government for his promotion of French-made merchandise in America. This interview was conducted by Estelle Ellis, founder of Business, Inc., a business market research firm.

Norell, Norman, 1900-1972
US.20190316.002 · Persona · 1900-1972

Norman Norell was born in April 1900. He first attended Parsons but transferred to Pratt a year later. Norell entered a blouse design contest while at Pratt and won first prize. In 1922, he designed for Brooks Costumes in NYC. He moved to Paramount studios, which was then in Astoria, Queens, and created costumes for Rudolph Valentino and Gloria Swanson. Next, Norell costumed shows for the Ziegfeld Follies. His first credited designs were costumes for a show at the Cotton Club in Harlem. In 1924, he was hired by Charles Armour and designed under that label for three years. In 1927, he was hired by Hattie Carnagie to design under her brand. Carnagie would purchase roughly Parisian Couture garments a year and bring them back to study the construction and style. This is how Norell learned couture construction. In 1940, he and Carnagie got in an argument about a design for Gertrude Lawrence which ended in him getting fired. In 1941, he was hired by Anthony Trainer. Trainer gave him the option of higher pay or Norell's name on the label. Norell chose to have his name on the label. Norell learned mass production techniques at Trainer. This lead to a fusion of ready-to-wear and couture that Norell was known for. Norerell won the first COTY Award in 1943. In 1960, Anthony Trainer retired, giving Norell full control of the designs. He continued to design until 1972 when he passed away, at the age of 72.

Born April 20, 1900 in Noblesville, IN, Norman Norell was an American fashion designer known for his elegant suits and tailored silhouettes. After spending some time in military school during World War I, Norell studied illustration at Parsons School of Design and fashion design at Pratt Institute from 1920 to 1922. Born Norman Levinson, Norell changed his surname while at Pratt. He described his name change as, “ ‘Nor’ for Norman, ‘l’ for Levinson, with another ‘l’ added for looks.” After graduation, he joined the East coast studios of Paramount Pictures as a costume designer and after a year went on to work for the Brooks Costume Company and for wholesale dress manufacturer Charles Armour. In 1928, Norell went to work for Hattie Carnegie, where he spent the next twelve years working in “complete anonymity,” modifying elements of Paris couture for American ready-to-wear designs. During these early years, Norell learned about cut, fit, and quality fabrics, as seasonal trips to view the Paris collections exposed him to the standards of couture. However, a disagreement with Carnegie led Norell to accept a position with the design firm Anthony Traina in 1940. Traina offered him a large salary if when he joined the company name did not have to change; however, Norell insisted and accepted a lower salary in exchange for changing the company name to Traina-Norrell. In 1943, Norell won a Coty Fashion Award and became a critic at Pratt Institute fashion department, where he was previously a student. In 1960, Norell started his own label, Norman Norell Ltd. He popularized the Empire-line dresses, culotte-skirted suits, sailor-style dresses, and the chemise dress, which was inspired by his favorite decade, the 1920s. He considered his simple, round necklines—at times embellished with bows or Peter Pan collars—his greatest contribution to fashion. Unlike couture designers, who only produce a garment for a specific person, Norell applied his high-standards to mass produced garments. Even though his clothes were ready-to-wear, each Norell garment was handled from start-to-finish by the same worker. Upon his death in 1972, the New York Times proclaimed: “Norman Norell made Seventh Avenue the rival of Paris.”

Goupil, Jean-Baptiste Adolphe
US.20190404.004 · Persona · 1806-1893

Adolphe Goupil is an art trader and engraver. In 1829, Goupil and his partner Rittner founded Maison Goupil which printed and sold engravings and lithographs. The house specialised in the sale of engravings after pictures by Ingres, Hippolyte Delaroche and Léopold Robert. After Rittner's death in 1842, Goupil formed a new partnership with Théodore Virbet creating Goupil, Virbet et Cie. In 1850, Adolphe Goupil formed Goupil & Cie. Goupil & Cie concentrated on buying, selling, and editing prints. The firm's factory outside of Paris employed skilled craftsmen to produce engraved, etched, photographic and even sculptural copies of artworks in vast quantities. Goupil & Cie's reproductions are largely credited with making Jean-Léon Gérôme a well known artist. Adolphe Goupil partnered with many other people until his retirement in 1882, including Vincent van Goph, the uncle of the famous painter with the same name.

Marty, André Édouard (1882-1974)
US.20190412.001 · Persona · 1882-1974

Artist André Édouard Marty was part the "Beau Brummels of the Brush," the core group of illustrators--and friends--at the heart of the magazine Gazette du bon ton. He was a premier, in-demand fashion illustrator of the period whose romantic, often contemplative, illustrations can be found in Modes et manieres d'aujourd hui, Femina, Vogue and Vanity Fair, to name a few. In 1925, he served on the jury of the now famous 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes. He also gained prestige as a book and poster illustrator during this period, and later as a set and costume designer.

Lepape, Georges, 1887-1971
US.20190412.016 · Persona · 1887-1971

Parisian illustrator known for his collaboration with Paul Poiret on the album Les Choses de Paul Poiret vues par Georges Lepape and the illustrated covers he produced for American, French and British editions of Vogue.

Lepape was born in Paris, where he lived all throughout his life. He received his artistic training at the École des Beaux Arts and studied in the studio of the historical painter Fernand Cormon, where he formed friendships with top artists of his generation. In 1911, Paul Poiret introduced him into the world of fashion illustration, giving him complete artistic freedom in creating the album Les Choses de Paul Poiret vues par Georges Lepape. Lepape continued his career as a fashion illustrator contributing to La Gazette du bon ton, Modes et Manières d’aujourd ‘hui and Harper’s Bazar and Femina. Following WWI, Lepape taught for twelve years at the New York School of Fine and Applied Art in Paris.

Georges LePape born on the Rue Montaigne May 26, 1887 and by the age of eighteen enrolled in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. At age 20 Lepape had already formed strong liaisons with such notable artists as Georges Braque, and Marie Laurencin. His first Salon submissions came the year prior to his 1909 marriage to Gabrielle Lausanne, and one year later he formed his historical collaboration with Paul Poiret. Over the next ten years, Poiret would become Paris’s leading haute couture designer and Lepape would be recognized as one of the world’s most brilliant fashion illustrators.

Beginning with the exclusive limited edition album “Les Choses de Paul Poiret”, Lepape introduced the ideas of “motion” and “story” to fashion illustration by showing some models actually leaving the viewing frame and by turning their backs to the viewer. These illustration techniques were further developed with publisher Lucien Vogel between 1912 and 1925 as Lepape became one of the primary contributors to the famous Gazette du Bon Ton. By 1920 Lepape was at the very top of his profession. He had completed a prolific decade of work, including illustrations for the houses of Worth, Lanvin, Paquin, Doucet, Beer among others, cover work for Harper's Bazaar and the first cover for Vogue Magazine (Oct.1916, English edition), numerous commissions for fur, perfume and other luxury goods producers, illustrations for theatre programs (particularly for the Ballets Russes), costume and set designs for Marcel L’Herbier and a series of posters for Galeries Lafayette.

In 1920 the Musee des Arts Decoratifs held the first major exhibition of his work. He followed this with major contributions that year to the post-war re-introduction of Gazette du Bon Ton, to Paul Poiret’s European Tour, to the introduction of Vogue France and with the publication of a special edition of Modes et Manières d'aujourd'hui featuring twelve of his new fashion plates. The following years saw continued high demand for Lepape’s talents and a branching out to include catalogue illustration, film posters and even some minor industrial design.

Conde Nast invited Lepape to New York in 1926, further cementing a long and profitable relationship with Vogue as that publication took over Gazette du Bon Ton. He illustrated eight of the Vogue covers in 1927 plus covers for Vanity Fair, while continuing to expand his client list to include Hermes, Wanamaker’s Department Store and Femina Magazine, among others, and to further increase his visibility in the theatrical world.

George Lepape remained a prolific and sought-after working artist right up to the time of his death, at age 84, on Feb 15, 1971. His works have been shown at several major exhibitions including the Palais Grenvelle in 1963, the Musee des Arts Decoratifs again in 1966 and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in 1971.

Poll, Carol
US.20190516.002 · Persona

Carol Poll was a professor of sociology at FIT and interviewed members of the FIT community for the FIT 50th Anniversary oral history series.

Gosé i Rovira, Xavier, 1876-1915
US.20190413.002 · Persona · 1876-1915

The Spanish artist who received his artistic training in Barcelona first visited Paris in 1900 to view that year’s Exposition Universelle. Enraptured with the bohemian art scene of Montparnasse, Gosé would alternate living between Paris and Barcelona for the next fifteen years, working as a painter and illustrator. A regular contributor to the early years of Gazette du bon ton, Gosé’s work is noticeably absent in the latter issues; the artist suffered from a chronic respiratory condition and died prematurely, in his hometown of Lérida, at the age of 39.

Simpson, Adele
US.20190715.002 · Persona · December 8, 1903 – 1995 August 23

Adele Simpson began her career working for several 7th Ave ready-to-wear fashion houses in New York. In 1942, she went to work for Mary Lee and worked for Lee under her own name by 1944. She received the Neiman Marcus Award in 1946 and the Coty Award in 1947. In 1949, she bought the Lee's company and renamed it Adele Simpson, Inc. She was known throughout the 1970s and 1980s for her wearable chemise dresses and shirtwaists. Simpson dressed many First Ladies throughout her career.

Yamamoto, Yohji, 1943-
US.20200715.010 · Persona · 1943-

Yohji Yamamoto is a Japanese contemporary fashion designer. Yamamoto's mother was a dressmaker with a shop in Shinjuku and he worked as her assistant after graduating with a law degree from Keio University in 1966. At her behest, he later enrolled at Bunka Fashion College. Yamamoto opened his first shop in Paris in the early 1980s and has since become internationally renowned with his lines Yohji Yamamoto, Y's, Pour Homme, Costume d'Homme, and Regulation Yohji Yamamoto. He has collaborated with brands including Adidas (Y-3), Hermès, Mikimoto and Mandarina Duck.

Zelinka, David
US.20190730.003 · Persona · Unknown

David Zelinka grew up in the fashion business in the Lower East Side. He attended New York University and worked as a salesman in the women's garment industry. In 1929, he founded his own company, producing women's coats and suits. After closing his business, he became chairman of the Fashion Institute of Technology's Educational Foundation for the Fashion Industries.

Norton, Eleanor Holmes
US.20200715.009 · Persona · 1937-

Eleanor Holmes Norton is a delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives, representing the District of Columbia.

Abzug, Bella S., 1920-1998
US.20200715.005 · Persona · 1920-1998

Bella Savitzky Abzug was an American lawyer, U.S. Representative, social activist and a leader of the Women's Movement. In 1971, Abzug joined other leading feminists such as Gloria Steinem, Shirley Chisholm, and Betty Friedan to found the National Women's Political Caucus.

Russell, Arniece
US.20200918.004 · Persona

Arniece Russell, a native New Yorker, was Miss Black America in 1973.

Koch, Ed, 1924-2013
US.20200715.002 · Persona · 1924-2013

Ed Koch was an American politician who served in the United States House of Representatives from 1969 to 1977 and was mayor of New York City from 1978 to 1989.

Weitz, John
US.20200509.015 · Persona · 1923-2002

John Weitz was born in 1923 in Berlin, and came to the United States in 1939. He served as an O.S.S. officer in World War II and founded John Weitz designs shortly after. He started with creating women's sportswear and entered the menswear arena in 1964. He was one of the first American designers to enter into licensing deals, known for his witty advertisements.

Phillips, Lawrence S.
US.20210314.50 · Persona

Lawrence S. Phillips was a longtime executive with Phillips-Van Heusen, his family's clothing company. He was also a founder of the American Jewish World Service, an organization dedicated to ending poverty and promoting human rights.

Leibovitz, Annie, 1949-
US.20200804.006 · Persona · 1949-

Annie Leibovitz is an American portrait photographer and has done significant work for publications including Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair.

Minkoff, Rebecca
US.20200328.017 · Persona · 1980-

Rebecca Minkoff is an American designer providing accessible luxury handbags, accessories, footwear and apparel. The brand today has two domestic retail stores, eight international locations, and is distributed in over 900 stores worldwide.

Metrick, Marc J.
US.20200918.002 · Persona

Marc J. Metrick is the President of Saks Fifth Avenue. He has been with Saks since 1995, beginning in their executive training program before spending over 15 years in senior leadership roles and eventually becoming Saks' chief strategy officer. In 2012, he joined Hudson’s Bay Company as its chief marketing officer and executive vice president, overseeing marketing and digital commerce for Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor. In 2013, he was appointed chief administrative officer of Hudson’s Bay Company and aided in their acquisition of Saks that same year. He was promoted to President of Saks in 2015.

Karan, Donna, 1948-
US.20200523.002 · Persona · 1948-

Donna Karan was born Donna Faske in 1948 in Queens, New York. Both of her parents were involved in the fashion business; her father Gabby sold men's clothing in his store, while her mother Helen was a showroom model and sales representative. Donna began experimenting with fashion while still in high school by working for Liz Claiborne as an intern during the summer . She later attended the Parsons School of Design in New York, and worked with Anne Klein while she attended classes. After graduating from Parsons, Donna began working full time with Klein as an associate designer from 1971 until Anne's death in 1974. Karan was then named Klein's successor and partnered with fellow designer Louis Dell'Olio to design the Anne Klein Collection. After success with that line, Karan independently created Anne Klein II, and then set out on her own to begin her own line in 1984. Her first designs were immediately praised and bought up by women around the world. Karan, known as "the queen of Seventh Avenue" , owns and is the chief executive of Donna Karan Company managing marketing, production of clothing and design. Her empire houses almost 2000 employees and brings in an annual revenue of $622.6 million. Karan's fashion presence is strong, with 10 full-price stores worldwide and the DKNY world flagship store on Madison Avenue in New York City. She is credited with being one of the chief innovators of the bridge line. Her clothes are regarded as "user-friendly and luxurious", a staple to modern women looking for comfort as well as style.
In 1988, Donna Karan introduced her cheaper DKNY line, targeting young adults. Today, Donna's empire has grown to gain international success and recognition.

Fried, (Furman) Eleanor
US.20200804.016 · Persona · 1913-

Eleanor Fried was born in 1913 in New York City. At age two, her family moved to Long Island. She graduated from Barnard College in 1933. Fried joined the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.) in 1947, leaving her previous position in the New York State Employment Service. She was Director of Placement from 1947 - 1973. After retiring, she was given the title Professor Emeritus.

Guggenheim, Elly
US.20200918.010 · Persona · 1912-2008

Elinor "Elly" Coleman Guggenheimer was an American activist and philanthropist. She was born on April 11, 1912. Educated at Vassar and Barnard College, over the course of 70 years in public service, Guggenheimer founded the Day Care Council of New York, the Day Care and Child Development Council, the Child Care Action Campaign, the New York Women’s Agenda, the International Women’s Forum, and the Council of Senior Centers and Services, and cofounded the National Women’s Political Caucus. In December, 1997, then First Lady, Hillary Clinton awarded Elinor Guggenheimer the Presidential Citizens Medal on behalf of the President. Elly Guggenheimer continued to be involved in civic and philanthropic activities until her death, at the age of 96, on September 29, 2008.

Wagner, Robert
US.20220414.017 · Persona · 1930 February 10-

R.J. Wagner was born 1930 in Detroit, the son of a steel executive. His family moved to Los Angeles when he was seven. Always wanting to be an actor, he held a variety of jobs (including one as a golf caddy for Clark Gable) while pursuing his goal, but it was while dining with his parents at a restaurant in Beverly Hills that he was "discovered" by a talent scout. After making his uncredited screen debut in The Happy Years (1950), Wagner was signed by 20th Century Fox, which carefully built him up toward stardom. He played romantic leads with ease, but it was not until he essayed the two-scene role of a shell-shocked war veteran in With a Song in My Heart (1952) that studio executives recognized his potential as a dramatic actor. He went on to play the title roles in Prince Valiant (1954) and The True Story of Jesse James (1957), and portrayed a cold-blooded murderer in A Kiss Before Dying (1956). In the mid-'60s, however, his film career skidded to a stop after The Pink Panther (1963). Several years of unemployment followed before Wagner made a respectable transition to television as star of the lighthearted espionage series It Takes a Thief (1968). He also starred on the police series Switch (1975), but Wagner's greatest success was opposite Stefanie Powers on the internationally popular Hart to Hart (1979), which ran from 1979 through 1984 and has since been sporadically revived in TV-movie form (another series, Lime Street (1985), was quickly canceled due to the tragic death of Wagner's young co-star, Samantha Smith). Considered one of Hollywood's nicest citizens, Robert Wagner has continued to successfully pursue a leading man career; he has also launched a latter-day stage career, touring with Stefanie Powers in the readers' theater presentation "Love Letters". He found success playing Number Two, a henchman to Dr. Evil in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997) and its sequels, and in 2007, he began playing Teddy Leopold, a recurring role on the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men (2003).

Tarsius, Arthur
US.20201202.003 · Persona · Unknown

Arthur Tarsius assisted Norman Goodman, son of one of the original FIT founders, Abe Goodman in setting up a trade show. This trade show aided in the efforts of FIT to make a name for itself.

Yang, Michael
US.20191123.004 · Persona · Unknown

Michael Yang is a Korean American technology entrepreneur and investor. He received an undergraduate degree and an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley and a graduate degree from Columbia University. He founded mySimon, Inc., Become, Inc., Council of Korean Americans and Michael Yang Capital Management LLC.

Sottsass, Ettore
US.20191123.005 · Persona · Unknown

Ettore Sottsass was an Italian architect who helped found a design collective known as the Memphis Group. He designed several products for the Olivetti company while also producing his own objects.

Kors, Michael
US.20191213.007 · Persona · 1959-

Kors was born Karl Anderson, Jr. on Long Island, New York, the son of Joan Hamburger, a former model, and her first husband, Karl Anderson. When his mother remarried when he was five, he was told he could change his name, and he chose to become Michael David Kors. Kors began designing clothes at the age of 19 and studied fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. In 1981, he launched the Michael Kors womenswear line at Bloomingdales, Bergdorf Goodman, Lord & Taylor, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue. Building on his success, Kors was named the first ever women's ready-to-wear designer and creative director for the French fashion house Celine in 1997. In his tenure at Celine, Kors turned the fashion house around with blockbuster accessories and a critically acclaimed ready-to-wear line. Kors left Celine in October 2003 to concentrate on his own brand. Kors launched his menswear line in 2002.

In addition to the Michael Kors runway collection, the MICHAEL Michael Kors and KORS Michael Kors lines were launched in 2004. KORS is considered the mid-tier line, between the runway and MICHAEL collections. The MICHAEL line includes women's handbags and shoes as well as women's ready-to-wear apparel. The KORS line contains footwear and Jeans. Currently, Kors has full collection boutiques in New York, Beverly Hills, Palm Beach, Manhasset, and Chicago. Kors was a judge on the Emmy-nominated reality television program Project Runway, which aired on Bravo for five seasons.

Wang, Vera
US.20200804.018 · Persona

Vera Wang is an American fashion designer specializing in bridal wear. Wang got her start in fashion working at Vogue magazine in 1971. She eventually became the senior fashion editor, a title she held for 15 years. In 1987, she left the publication to take a job as a design director for accessories at Ralph Lauren. She opened her bridal boutique in 1990, after designing her own wedding dress the year prior. Her boutique first offered designs from brands including Dior and Carolina Herrera until Wang was able to hone her skills as a fashion designer and create her own signature collection a few years later. Further expansion of her brand includes elegant evening wear, a fragrance, a wedding guide, home products, and an affordable ready-to-wear line with Kohl's called Simply Vera.

Wolman, Baron
US.20200804.020 · Persona · 1937-

Baron Wolman is an American photographer most well known for his work in music photography for Rolling Stone, for which he was their first staff photographer.

Smith, Willi
US.20200118.005 · Persona · 1948-1987

Willi Smith was one of the most successful young black fashion designers in America in the 1980s. Throughout his career, he created smart, tailored sportswear for women, designing for men in later years. These clothes were consistently injected with whimsy and irreverence.

Smith’s innovative, affordable garments, which Americans who weren’t rich and famous could enjoy, earned the title “Street Couture.” The arts scene exploding around SoHo, where Smith lived, inspired him to create clothes with a playful, yet entirely grown-up exuberance.

Smith arrived at Parsons on two scholarships in 1965, eventually dropping out to freelance in the fashion industry. He began designing for Digits Sportswear, where he met Laurie Mallet, with whom he founded his own womenswear line in 1976, WilliWear. Smith was mentored by Arthur McGee.

The hallmark of WilliWear’s aesthetic was reasonably priced, comfortable garments in natural fabrics and vivid, mixed prints. His clothes found mass appeal among a new generation of American women who entered the workforce in the 1970s and 1980s.

Smith designed WilliWear’s seasonal collections for 11 years, and was the first designer to house womenswear and menswear under the same brand. WilliWear was sold in over 500 doors, and was grossing over $25 million a year by 1986.

In 1971, Smith became the youngest designer to be nominated for a Coty Award, eventually winning the Coty American Fashion Critics’ Award for Women’s Fashion, in 1983.

Smith died of pneumonia in 1987, after contracting a parasitic disease in India, which he’d spent years visiting for work. An autopsy later revealed that Smith also had AIDS.

Eisenhower, Mamie Doud, 1896-1979
US.20200118.017 · Persona · 1896 November 14-1979 November 1

Mamie Geneva Doud Eisenhower was the wife of the 34th President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and a very popular First Lady of the United States from 1953 to 1961.

Born in Boone, Iowa, in 1896, Mamie Geneva Doud moved with her family to Colorado when she was seven. Her father retired from business, and Mamie and her three sisters grew up in a large house in Denver. During winters the family made long visits to relatives in the milder climate of San Antonio, Texas.

There, in 1915, at Fort Sam Houston, Mamie met Dwight D. Eisenhower, a young second lieutenant on his first tour of duty. She drew his attention instantly, he recalled: “a vivacious and attractive girl, smaller than average, saucy in the look about her face and in her whole attitude.” On St. Valentine’s Day in 1916 he gave her a miniature of his West Point class ring to seal a formal engagement; they were married at the Doud home in Denver on July 1.

For years Mamie Eisenhower’s life followed the pattern of other Army wives: a succession of posts in the United States, in the Panama Canal Zone; duty in France, in the Philippines. She once estimated that in 37 years she had unpacked her household at least 27 times. Each move meant another step in the career ladder for her husband, with increasing responsibilities for her.

The first son Doud Dwight or “Icky,” who was born in 1917, died of scarlet fever in 1921. A second child, John, was born in 1922 in Denver. Like his father he had a career in the army; later he became an author and served as ambassador to Belgium.

During World War II, while promotion and fame came to “Ike,” Mamie lived in Washington. After he became president of Columbia University in 1948, the Eisenhowers purchased a farm at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It was the first home they had ever owned. His duties as commander of North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces–and hers as his hostess at a chateau near Paris–delayed work on their dream home, finally completed in 1955. They celebrated with a housewarming picnic for the staff from their last temporary quarters: the White House.

When Eisenhower had campaigned for President, his wife cheerfully shared his travels; when he was inaugurated in 1953, the American people warmly welcomed her as First Lady. Diplomacy–and air travel–in the postwar world brought changes in their official hospitality. The Eisenhowers entertained an unprecedented number of heads of state and leaders of foreign governments, and Mamie’s evident enjoyment of her role endeared her to her guests and to the public.

In 1961 the Eisenhowers returned to Gettysburg for eight years of contented retirement together. After her husband’s death in 1969, Mamie continued to live on the farm, devoting more of her time to her family and friends. Mamie Eisenhower died on November 1, 1979. She is buried beside her husband in a small chapel on the grounds of the Eisenhower Library in Abilene, Kansas.

The biographies of the First Ladies on WhiteHouse.gov are from “The First Ladies of the United States of America,” by Allida Black. Copyright 2009 by the White House Historical Association.

Alfaro, Victor, 1963-
US.20200118.020 · Persona · 1963-

Victor Alfaro is a Mexican fashion designer based in New York City. His collection is sold under the VICTOR ALFARO label, and his company’s ready-to-wear collection is available at luxury retailers such as Barneys New York, The Room, Lane Crawford, Net-a-Porter and several boutiques throughout the U.S. Alfaro also designs a home furnishings collection under the CASA by Victor Alfaro brand, sold exclusively at The Bon-Ton Stores.

Alfaro came to the U.S. in 1981 from Mexico and graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in 1987. Since the inception of his company, he has been honored with numerous industry accolades and awards recognizing his talent, including the Perry Ellis Award for New Fashion Talent at the 1995 CFDA Fashion Awards.

Helpern, Joan, 1926-2016
US.20200125.001 · Persona · 1926-2016

Joan Helpern was an American shoe designer. She was the head designer of the Joan & David line of shoes, a company she co-owned with her husband David Helpern. Joan & David popularized elegant, comfortable — and non-high-heeled — shoes for working women in the 1960s.

Joan Evelyn Marshall was born on October 10, 1926 in the Bronx. She attended Hunter College in Manhattan, majoring in economics, psychology and English. She earned a master's degree in social psychology from Columbia University and a doctorate in psychology from Harvard University.

Joan and David married in 1960. David Helpern worked in his family's clothing stores and for a time, Joan was a child psychologist in the New York City school system. Joan began her second career as a shoe designer in the 1960s, working for a small Boston shoe company and as a consultant to a firm that operated several chains. Eventual she and David decided to start the Joan & David shoe label.

“We had noticed that women were running through airports,” Ms. Helpern told The New York Times in 2012. “We decided to make shoes for women who run through airports.”

Within two decades, Joan & David, founded in Cambridge, Mass., was selling shoes and men and women’s apparel, bags and belts in about 100 outlets in the United States and Europe and grossing about $100 million. It had boutiques in the Ann Taylor retail chain and a flagship store on Madison Avenue in New York, where the company was later based.

In 2000, after five years of financial difficulties, the company sought bankruptcy protection and was sold to the Maxwell Shoe Company for $16.8 million.

David Helpern, from whom Joan was legally separated in 1998, died in 2012.

Mizrahi, Isaac
US.20200125.004 · Persona · 1961-

Isaac Mizrahi is an American fashion designer.

Mizrahi was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1961. He attended Parsons School of Design and during his time as a student and afterward, he did stints working for some of the great American masters of the 1980s, including Perry Ellis and Calvin Klein. He created his own eponymous line in 1987 and became on of the most acclaimed designers of the 1990s. Chanel took a stake in his company in 1992. His SoHo offices and design studio became a destination for Naomi Campbell, Sandra Bernhard and Liza Minnelli. Mizrahi was a frequent dinner guest at the home of the Vogue editor Anna Wintour. He befriended big names like Stephen Sondheim, Mark Morris and Maira Kalman. He was an early champion of diversity on the runway and a pioneer in taking the camera behind the scenes with the 1995 cult documentary “Unzipped.” But it was too much of a challenge for Mizrahi to grow the line without any production or retail infrastructure, and when Chanel pulled its financing in 1998 he decided to shut his doors.

In 2002 he briefly relaunched his couture studio at the same time that he opened a label with Target, making him one of the first designers to collaborate with a mass retailer, mixing high fashion with low prices and more inclusive sizing. In 2019 he launched a new line with QVC.

Miyake, Issei, 1938-
US.20200125.007 · Persona · 1938-

Japanese fashion designer, active in Tokyo and Paris. For his Autumn/Winter 1998 collection, Issey Miyake sent all his models down the Paris catwalk in a single stream of red, knitted tubing. Unlike the typical fashion show where the season’s look is unveiled in its finalized form, Miyake’s show was a presentation of his process. In collaboration with designer Dai Fujiwara, Miyake developed a radical approach to fashion design. Utilizing technological advances in fibre, fabric and computer science, he created a system to manufacture individual garments from a single thread. The method, known as A-POC, an acronym for ‘A Piece of Cloth’, is Miyake’s solution to the complicated manufacturing methods of traditional cut-and-sew garments.

Miyake was born in Hiroshima 1938 and witnessed the destruction and devastation of his country during World War II, but also saw its rise and redemption in the following years. This strength imbued in him allowed his artistry and discipline to grow. In 1959, Miyake attended Tama Art University in Tokyo where he studied graphic design. Though it was his passion, the university offered no courses in apparel arts. During this time, he struggled with the traditional Japanese views on fashion; that it was not an industry for men and that its core resided only in Paris. Despite these ideas, Miyake presented his first show in 1963 entitled A Poem of Cloth and Stone.

The show was based on the dynamic of dress as both a visual form and a utilitarian endeavour. Miyake’s work led him to Paris in 1965, where he studied at the Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. Upon graduation, he worked for designer Guy Laroche and eventually worked at Hubert de Givenchy. Paris gave him the training he needed, but it also exposed him to the rigid state of French fashion at the time and he intended to burst out of this shell.

He moved to New York in 1969 and worked for designer Geoffrey Beene, but returned to Tokyo in 1970 and opened up his first company, Miyake Design Studio. He was soon showing his collections in New York and Paris, and immediately gained international acclaim. In the following decade Miyake, along with designers Kenzo Takada (b 1939) and Rei Kawakubo of Commes des Garçons, solidified the relationship between Japanese designers and French fashion, creating a revolutionary league of Japanese avant-garde design. Miyake drew inspiration from both the old and new, East and West, taking such historical Japanese techniques as sashiko quilting, an 18th-century restoration stitch, and adapting it for contemporary design. He also created a body-stocking printed with traditional Japanese tattoos known as irezumi, but altered the designs to include the faces of Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. The latter concept stemmed from his fascination with clothing as ‘second skin’.

In 1988, Miyake began researching the technique of pleating, experimenting with various fabrics and processes. Instead of pleating the fabric first as traditionally done, Miyake first created the garment, and then added the pleats. He also adapted this process to create zigzag and diagonal pleating that lent an architectural form to his garments. Five years later, Miyake launched the Pleats Please Issey Miyake label. The result of his research was an easily wearable, washable garment made of 100% polyester jersey, a fittingly practical approach to fashion.

With Miyake’s A-POC, thread is fed into A-POM (‘A Piece of Machine’) that has been programmed to knit or weave a garment directly into the fabric according to the wearer’s specifications. The result is a garment that is perfectly made-to-measure and created with minimal resources. A-POC thus achieves the democratization of fashion. It was a process created to serve the masses by fulfilling the needs of the individual and allows the wearer to be an active participant in the process of making clothes. Miyake’s revolutionary approach to design was the culmination of decades of his research and experimentation in fashion.

Already believing that fashion is an art, Miyake devoted his career to making it a solution. His process is ongoing, with each collection building upon the previous and reiterating his approach to maintaining traditions in fashion through technology. He aimed at reinventing the perception of fashion as well as the industry that produces it. His work has garnered praise from the worlds of art and fashion, and his pieces are in the holdings of such prestigious institutions as the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Kyoto Costume Institute. From 2008, the house of Issey Miyake was run by Dai Fujiwara, who graduated from Tama Art University in 1995 with a degree in textile design.

Blackwell, Elizabeth, 1821-1910
US.20200715.016 · Persona · 1821-1910

Elizabeth Blackwell was a British physician, and the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States, as well as the first woman on the Medical Register of the General Medical Council. She was a large supporter and advocate for education for women in medicine.

Armani, Giorgio
US.20200201.013 · Persona · 1934-

Italian fashion designer. Armani was dubbed the ‘Sexy Tailor’ by the American fashion press for sartorial innovations he introduced in menswear. He brought sensual drape to traditional suit coats by eliminating rigid interlinings that had shaped and restricted men’s clothing in the 1970s. To complement his new softly-tailored coats, he created short, supple, collared shirts and textural, patterned ties. Armani’s impact on menswear went beyond unstructured sewing techniques to include a serene color palette inspired by the Italian artist Giorgio Morandi. The neutral earth tones included an inventive grey–beige (‘greige’), moss, mushroom and smoky grey–blue, tones not seen before in menswear. Armani claimed to be ‘the stylist without color’. Armani also brought a feminine touch to menswear and eventually expanded his design aesthetic to women’s clothing, bringing a powerful look to women’s fashion. His minimal modernism in cut and fit, while retaining maximum impact in silhouette and color, stimulated the fashion imagination of Hollywood, retailers, journalists and customers of both sexes.

Love of stage and cinema inspired Armani throughout his career, proving to be the catalyst to his future international recognition. After studying medicine, he completed his military service in the Army infirmary but sought civilian work more compatible with his temperament. In 1957 Armani went to work at La Rinascente, Milan, Italy’s most important fashion store, where his innovative visual merchandising skills earned him a promotion to their style office. Armani travelled extensively to select unique products for the store. He attracted the attention of Nino Cerutti (b 1930), an Italian textile and clothing manufacturer known for textured fabrics and sophisticated use of color. Armani was hired to design a ready-to-wear wholesale men’s line: Hitman. With a strong sense of style, color, packaging and promotion, but no formal training, Armani succeeded at Hitman for eight years.

Armani’s career shifted to entrepreneur and designer when he met Sergio Galeotti, his business and life partner, in the late 1960s. Both men launched the label Giorgio Armani, SpA on 24 July 1975. Armani was among a group of new Italian designers featured at Barney’s, New York in 1976. He also began cultivating contacts in Hollywood; his involvement in the 1980 film American Gigolo was a significant factor in launching Armani’s fame in a global fashion market. Acknowledging Milan as the chicest place for menswear, Paul Schrader, director of American Gigolo, selected Armani to outfit Richard Gere in his role as the urbane paid escort, Julian Kaye. Critics praised the exciting and original wardrobe of the star of the film, and enthusiasts could concurrently purchase the clothing they had just seen on screen in retail stores. Through this film, Armani’s popularity in the US was established, and afterwards, Saks Fifth Avenue premièred his first collection designed expressly for America. Armani was also the first designer to open an office in Los Angeles expressly to increase his celebrity clientele and his presence at the prestigious Academy Award ceremonies.

Recognizing the importance of the feminist movement, Armani drew inspiration from his mother’s simple, dignified style and his sister Rosanna’s penchant for wearing men’s jackets. Crossing gender boundaries, he used his signature minimalist tailoring techniques, softer textiles and earthy colors to create women’s ‘power suits’ that were also feminine. In 1979 Armani received the distinguished Neiman Marcus Fashion Award for interpreting his catwalk aesthetic for mass consumers worldwide. Hollywood’s most admired leading ladies also chose Armani for red carpet galas, making both his gowns and tuxedos the most sought-after (see fig.).

After the death of Sergio Galeotti in 1985, Armani assumed control of his business, expanding the Armani imprint into a comprehensive lifestyle aesthetic, from spectacles to home furnishings. As an astute and democratic businessman, Armani expanded his brand by launching diffusion lines: Emporio Armani for clothing at a level below couture and A/X for designer denim and casual T-shirts; both offered status dressing to a mass audience. In 2000, Armani’s achievement was recognized with a retrospective exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. One of the most successful global enterprises, Giorgio Armani is a privately held and owner-managed business. Armani’s goal was ‘to find a way to make and wear clothes for a time that was less formal but that still yearned for style’ (exh. cat., p. 254) and he has succeeded in artfully capturing the essence of late 20th and early 21st century clothing desires.

Natori, Josie Cruz
US.20200201.019 · Persona · 1947 May 9 -

Josie Natori is a Filipino-American fashion designer espeicially known for her sleep and loungewear brand, The Natori Company.

Johns, Sara Carles, 1894-1965
US.20200222.003 · Persona · 1894-1965

Sara Carles Johns (1894-1965) was an American artist and fashion illustrator. She studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts 1916-1921, where she won the 1919 William Emlen Cresson Memorial Traveling Scholarship. She exhibited at the PAFA annual exhibitions in 1919, 1920, and 1925. In the 1940s Johns studies at Parsons, where she met Akexey Brodovitch and produced several covers for Harper's Bazaar, in the 1940s and 1950s

Ferragamo, Salvatore, 1898-1960
US.20200314.009 · Persona · 1898-1960

Italian shoe designer and the founder of luxury goods high-end retailer Salvatore Ferragamo S.p.A.

Hempel, Anouska
US.20200314.010 · Persona · 1941-

Anouska Hempe is of Russian and Swiss-German ancestry. She grew up in New Zealand and Australia and moved to London in 1962 to work as an actress (she was celebrated as an early Bond Girl) before beginning a career as an interior designer and hotelier.

Oldham, Todd
US.20200314.013 · Persona · 1961-

Todd Oldham is an American fashion designer and media personality. Know for his whimsical ready-to-wear designs, Oldham has also designed capsule collections for Target.

Picasso, Paloma, 1949-
US.20200314.015 · Persona · 1949-

Daughter of artist Pablo Picasso, Paloma Picasso is a French and Spanish designer, best known for jewelry designs for Tiffany & Co. and her scent Paloma Picasso.

Cruz, Miguel
US.20200314.017 · Persona · active 1980s

Cuban fashion designer.

Cole, Anne
US.20200314.023 · Persona · 1927-2017

Anne Cole is an American swimwear designer.

Anne first entered the world of fashion in the 1950s at her father’s swimwear company, Cole of California. As she worked her way through the ranks, her unique perspective on sales and marketing shaped Cole of California into an icon. From there, she launched her eponymous collection, creating styles for women of every age that flatter with effortless ease. Perhaps most famously, Anne created the original Tankini, blending the modesty of a one-piece swimsuit with the flexibility of a two-piece.

Today the Anne Cole brand offers a full collection of high-quality fashion swimwear in women’s and plus sizes.

Loren, Sophia, 1934-
US.20200321.006 · Persona · 1934-

Italian actress

Bacall, Lauren, 1924-2014
US.20200321.008 · Persona · 1924-2014

Lauren Bacall was an acclaimed actress, working in Hollywood for over half a century. Born Betty Joan Perske in the Bronx, New York in 1924, Bacall took the Romanian form of her mother's last name when her parents divorced in 1930. Bacall attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, modeling on the side to pay for classes. In 1943, at the age of 18, Bacall found herself on the cover of Harper's Bazaar. The cover caught the attention of Slim Hawks, wife of the Hollywood producer Howard Hawks, who persuaded her husband to bring the young model to Hollywood for a screen test. During the test, Hawks instructed Bacall to speak in a lower register, which became Bacall's signature. Hawks cast Bacall in To Have and To Have Not in 1944. The film became a massive success and helped propel Bacall to stardom. On the set of that film, she met her future husband, Humphrey Bogart. The two married within a year of meeting and would remain so until Bogart's death in 1957. In addition to To Have and To Have Not, the couple starred in three other films together between 1946 and 1948. Bacall would continue her career in Hollywood throughout the 20th and early 21st century. The actress also worked on Broadway, winning a Tony Award in 1970 for her performance in Applause. Lauren Bacall passed away on August 12, 2014 at the age of 89.

Bacall was the subject of the exhibition Lauren Bacall: The Look at The Museum at FIT from March 3-April 4, 2015.

Savitch, Jessica
US.20200321.023 · Persona · 1947-1983

Jessica Beth Savitch was an American television news presenter and correspondent, best known for being the weekend anchor of NBC Nightly News and daily presenter of NBC News updates during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Jourdan, Charles
US.20200321.024 · Persona · 1883-1976

Charles Jourdan (1883 – 12 February 1976) was a French fashion designer known best for his designs of women's shoes.

Furness, Betty, 1916-1994
US.20200321.027 · Persona · 1916-1994

Elizabeth "Betty" Mary Furness (1916 - 1994) was an American actress and consumer affairs expert. She began her career as a model, working for the Powers agency. Through her modeling, she began landing small roles in films. In 1949, she became the television spokesperson for Westinghouse Electric Corporation. She left the Westinghouse Electric Corporation in 1960 to focus on "more serious work." President Lyndon B. Johnson elected her for a position as the special assistant to the president for consumer affairs. She continued to work in this field throughout the 1960s and 1970s. In 1974, she became a regular on the Today Show. Betty Furness passed away on April 2, 1994 in New York, NY.

Grant, Cary, 1904-1986
US.20200328.006 · Persona · 1904-1986

Cary Grant (1904-1986) was an English-American actor.

Horne, Joseph
US.20201008.008 · Persona · 1826-1892

Joseph Horne was an American business man who was the founder of the Pittsburgh department store chain Joseph Horne Company. Horne began his career in business working for Christian Yeager as trader. He moved on to the F.H. Eaton store where he became a partner, and in 1849 purchased the store and renamed it The Joseph Horne Company. With his business partners Christian B. Shea and A. P. Burchfield, the store brought an elegance to department stores that had never been equaled in Pittsburgh. In 1881, they expanded the store by opening a second location, and in 1891 sold the wholesale division of the store to the Pittsburgh Dry Goods Company.

Madame Grès, 1903-1993
US.20200328.003 · Persona · 1903-1993

Madame Alix Grès is widely regarded as one of the most brilliant couturiers of the twentieth century. She employed innovative construction techniques in the service of a classical aesthetic, creating her hallmark “Grecian” gowns as well as a wide range of simple and geometrically cut designs based on ethnic costume. Her garments are noted for their three-dimensional, sculptural quality.

Mme. Grès’s life, like the creation of her gowns, was unconventional. Born Germaine Emilie Krebs on 30 November 1903 in Paris, France, she became a couturier after her bourgeois Catholic parents discouraged her desire to pursue a career first as a professional dancer and then as a sculptor. Around 1933, during a brief apprenticeship of three months at the couture house of Premet, she learned the basics of dressmaking and changed her first name to Alix. That same period she began to work for a couturier named Julie Barton, who renamed her house Alix to reflect the astounding success of her assistant.

On 15 April 1937 Grès married a Russian-born painter, Serge Anatolievitch Czerefkow. It was then that she became Alix Grès, Grès being an anagram of her husband’s first name, which he used to sign his paintings. In August 1939 their only child, Anne, was born. Months earlier, however, Serge had left France and relocated to Tahiti.

In the spring of 1940 the Nazis occupied Paris. After a falling out with Barton, Grès fled the city, like many other Parisians, and moved south with her infant daughter. The one enduring legacy of her exile was the donning of a turban; she took to wearing the headdress initially because she could not go to a hairdresser. It became her personal trademark.

In 1941 Grès returned to Paris and opened her own salon. After refusing to accommodate the Nazi’s insistence that she reveal her trade secrets and adhere to the regime’s fabric restrictions, she was forced to close the shop in January 1944. Finally, in the early summer of 1944, she was authorized to resume her business in time to show a final collection before the liberation of Paris. This now legendary group of garments was made using only the red, white, and blue of the French flag.

The most famous and recognizable design of Mme. Grès was her classically inspired floor-length, pleated gown. In the 1930s these “Grecian” garments were primarily white in color, made from uncut lengths of double-width matte silk jersey, most often sleeveless, and cut to enhance the female body without physically restricting its movement. By the onset of World War II, because of textile restrictions, Grès focused on the manipulation of the bodices, sleeves, and necklines of much shorter garments.

In the late 1940s Grès resumed the use of larger quantities of fabric as well as a tighter and finer style of pleating. She also employed inner reinforcement or corseting. By the 1970s Grès has eliminated the corset and, simultaneously, cut away portions of the bodice, thus exposing large areas of the nude torso.

In the 1950s and 1960s Mme. Grès’s business and her designs thrived. She engaged in several licensing agreements, the most successful of which was her perfume, Cabochard, released in 1959. Literally meaning “pigheaded,” it describes the tenacity of the couturier. Madame Grès’s ethnic-inspired garments were an important part of her oeuvre during this time. Non-Western art was a major source of inspiration to her beginning in the 1930s, with the proliferation of exhibitions and expositions that displayed the products of France’s colonies. Although her output of such garments was to drop off significantly during the 1940s and 1950s, she responded to a strong revival of ethnic influences during the mid-1960s, creating caftans, capes, and pajamas for “couture hippies.” These gowns were different from her prewar creations in that Grès relied on construction techniques she observed in non-Western dress. This change occurred after a 1959 trip to India, where Grès studied ethnic costume and took note of Eastern cultures’ aversion to the cutting of textiles. She also experimented with fabrics, using faille and brocaded silks as well as more pliable materials such as fine wool knits and djersakasha, a cashmere jersey that could be woven as a tube, eliminating the need for seams.

In 1972 Mme. Grès was unanimously elected president of the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture. Four years later she became the first recipient of the Dé d’Or (Golden Thimble award), the highest honor given by the Chambre Syndicale. By the mid-1980s, however, the house of Grès had fallen into decline. After entrusting both her business and her trademark to a businessman-cum-politician named Bernard Tapie, Grès lost both. In April 1986 Maison Grès was expelled from the Chambre Syndicale for nonpayment of dues. Difficulties continued until the official retirement of Madame Grès, after the presentation of her 1988 spring/summer collection. The exit of one of the greatest figures in the world of haute couture took place quietly, with no official press release from the house of Grès. She died in the south of France on 13 December 1994.

No figure in French couture used the elements of classicism so completely or so poetically as Madame Grès, who used this aesthetic in her creation of seemingly limitless construction variations on a theme. Often referred to as the great “sculptress” of haute couture, Grès used the draping method to create her most dramatic designs, often consisting of puffed, molded, and three-dimensionally shaped elements that billowed and fell away from the body. Examples included capes made with yards of heavy wool manipulated into deep folds, taffeta cocktail dresses that combine finely pleated bodices balanced with full balloon-shaped skirts puffed sleeves, and evening gowns with enormous circular sleeves and trains that could rise like sails. Although volumetric, her sculpted garments are supple and pliable and have no reinforcement such as an attached inner facing. The end result was sensual fashions that stood away from the body rather than falling next to it.